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From Sign Hill to DNA Way: South San Francisco
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Collection Overview
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South San Francisco Public Library's collection includes photographs, posters, brochures and other materials from the city's earliest history with emphasis on the 100 years from the time of incorporation in 1908 through the city's centennial celebration in 2008. Images document early businesses beginning with the Western Meat Company, headed by G.F. Swift who contributed the city's name (he had similar businesses in South Chicago, Illinois and South Omaha, Nebraska) and other industries that led to the Chamber of Commerce painting South San Francisco the Industrial City on Sign Hill. Many early businesses have come and gone, but the signage remains and is a battle cry for old timers whenever anyone suggests its removal. Change is noted in the collections' documentation of South San Francisco as the birthplace of Biotechnology. Genentech was the first of many biotechnology corporations. In 1997, the naming of DNA Way outside of the Genentech headquarters was heralded as a new industrial era for South San Francisco.
200 objects, primarily photographs but also including brochures, postcards and posters 138 online items
Parts of the collection have been digitized (Bits of History and Shades of California) and may be accessed online through the library's website: http://www.ssf.net/library.